ASMI 2014 Conference: Self care emerging as central to sustainable health policy

28 October 2014

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28 October 2014 - Interest in self care is growing worldwide particularly in developed economies such as the UK, Australia and the US. In the UK, momentum has been slowly building since 2000 when the National Health Service Blueprint (NHS Plan) was announced by Tony Blair. One of the architects of self care policy in the UK, Ms Gopa Mitra MBE, will describe how the UK has advanced self care when she presents at the ASMI 2014 Conference on 18 November 2014.
Ms Mitra will explain how the Self Care Forum was set up in the UK to be the 'voice' for self care. She will share the UK experience of forming the Self Care Forum and discuss key learnings for Australia as it sets up a Self Care Alliance.
"The key purpose of the UK's Self Care Forum is to further the reach of self care and embed it into everyday life," said Ms Mitra.

"A key element of the Forum's strategy is to engage healthcare professionals, sharing with them ways of informing and educating patients about self care. Equally, the Forum is engaging with consumers to help them build confidence about managing their symptoms. A key aspect of self care education is building awareness about the normal duration for particular conditions such as a cold or cough.

"If people know how long symptoms of a condition normally persist they tend to feel more confident about self-managing. We have had good outcomes in the UK in relation to patients learning how to manage their symptoms for an appropriate time period, reducing their reliance on the National Health Service (NHS).

"We also co-ordinate education campaigns to help build consumers' awareness of signs that a condition is not improving within the accepted timeframe. In this situation it is critical the patient seeks medical advice immediately.

"Being alert to indications that suggest something more serious is going on can lead to early detection of serious disease, the key outcome for any health service," she added.

Ms Gopa Mitra MBE: Biographical Information
Ms Gopa Mitra is Director of Health Policy & Public Affairs at the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB), the industry association representing manufacturers of non-prescription medicines and food supplements in Great Britain.

She has successfully led the drive for self care to be an integral part of health policy to successive UK Governments. Support for the case for self care has included her work in developing the evidence base with consumer research in attitudes and behaviour in self-care and self-medication, into information in advertising as well as primary care research.

Ms Mitra is a Trustee and Vice Chair of the Men's Health Forum and chair of their Organisational Development Group and the Royal College of General Practitioners' Patient Partnership Group. She has also served as Trustee of DPP (Developing Patient Partnerships) and the Long-term Conditions Alliance.

Ms Mitra was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Millennium Honours List for her services to the pharmaceutical industry on 31 December 1999.

ASMI 2014 CONFERENCE EVENT DETAILS:

When: Tuesday 18 November 2014. Registration and coffee at 8.30 am

Where: Waterview Convention Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush, Sydney

Who: Delegates from all sectors of the non-prescription medicines industry are encouraged to attend

How: To register online click here

Contact: Claire Johnson, ASMI Member Events and Services Associate 02 9922 5111 | claire@asmi.com.au

About ASMI: The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak body representing sponsors of non-prescription medicines - over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines (CM). ASMI members make up 85 per cent of the $4bn Non-Prescription Medicines market. Membership totals 50 companies and ASMI members employ approximately 18,000 people with exports estimated at $1.2 billion annually. ASMI's mission is to advance consumer health through responsible self-care. This means driving a viable and responsible industry and empowering the consumer with evidence-based products and information with the aim of improving health and wellbeing. To find out more about ASMI or how to become an ASMI member, please visit (www.asmi.com.au).

For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Marie Kelly-Davies
PR Manager, Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI)
M:0408 256 381 E: marie@asmi.com.au